And that could be a very good thing.
Flight booking websites seem pretty straight forward. As a customer, you log on, search for a destination, are presented with basic options, choose one — and hope you're getting the best deal.
According to APEX, Expedia and Routehappy will soon provide consumers with several more critical pieces of information when booking a flight on sites including Orbitz, Travelocity and Trivago.
Expedia has already added many features, including showing a quality score as well as listing amenities for each flight, like food and entertainment options, Wi-Fi availability, a map of the cabin, and more. In addition to this, Expedia announced on Wednesday it will be adding Routehappy’s Universal Product Attributes and Universal Ticket Attributes to its dashboard on all its sites, which will delve even deeper into what you’re getting for your money.
Using this technology, Expedia will display an airline’s products with photos and videos from the plane cabin right in the search results. The integration of Routehappy’s ticket data will also provide important ticketing information, like an airline’s fare benefits and restrictions. (We're looking at you, basic economy.)
These advancements, Routehappy said in a statement, give airlines the opportunity to “tell their product stories and provide a rich, comprehensive, and more informed shopping experience” for fliers. “We think fliers need better information when they shop, and that airlines and distributors deserve a platform to supply it,” Robert Albert, CEO of Routehappy, told APEX in 2014, when its partnership with Expedia first began.
The companies say the integration of product and ticketing data will help make shopping for a flight more like shopping for a hotel.
“This might include photos, videos, and at-a-glance views of what’s included in the fare,” David Krieger, senior director at Expedia, told APEX.
Beyond being a great opportunity for airlines to show off their goods, Jaivin Anzalota, chief product officer of Routehappy, previously told Travel + Leisure that this technology is great for passengers, too.
“Consumers want a better shopping experience when purchasing flights, airlines want the ability to differentiate and showcase their innovation and investment, and travel companies want the ability to provide a better product for their consumers,” he said.